How to use less data on your iPhone every month
By cuterose

How to use less data on your iPhone every month

12/05/2022  |   497 Views

This post is part of Mashable's Spring Cleaning Week. Just a little something to distract you from the eternal dread of constantly wiping all those fingerprints off your screen.

If you've recently upgraded to a new phone, you might have noticed an annoying, not to mention costly, problem.

SEE ALSO:How a vacation and a digital detox app helped cure my iPhone addiction

Yes, if you've got a new iPhone X or iPhone 8 Plus, that sucker probably uses a LOT of data, thanks to the jump in screen resolution, the new screen size, and a spiffy new version of iOS. Chances are, it's more than you're used to using, especially if you made a leap from using something like an iPhone 6.

You may have noticed this when you got a whopping overage charge on your monthly bill (I certainly did). Luckily, there are a few ways to tinker with your settings and apps to make sure you're not using all the data in the world on your new phone.

First, check which apps are using the most data

This is really easy to do. Go into your Settings and click on Cellular. Scroll down to the menu that says Cellular Data. Here you can see exactly how much data each of your installed apps has used over time. You may be surprised.

Credit: brian de los santos/mashable

You can also use this menu to gauge how much data you use per month. Just make sure to scroll down to the bottom and hit "Reset Statistics" at the start of your billing cycle. It'll sync your info with each pay period and give you a way to monitor your data day by day.

How to use less data on your iPhone every month

Reconfigure all your social media apps

Your social media apps use a ton of data. All those high-quality photos of your friends' children are eating up your precious data — especially if you're a heavy Instagram user. Not to mention the autoplay video hounding your phone for its precious megabytes. However, there are ways to cut back.

In fact, kill autoplay on every app

The terrible thing about apps these days is that they all float video in your face, whether you want it or not. Sporting apps like ESPN are prime offenders. And while it may not seem like such a big deal, those videos burn through a ton of data. Make sure to disable autoplay in any apps you frequent.

Kill Wi-Fi assist

Credit: brian de los santos/mashable

Wi-Fi assist was billed as a way to help you power through a spotty Wi-Fi connection, but it can be particularly taxing on your data over time, especially if you don't have the best Wi-Fi signal at home. Go back into your Settings menu, navigate to Cellular Data, then scroll all the way down to Wi-Fi Assist. Below, it'll show you just how much data the feature has used. If it's a lot, turn that sucker off.

Kill background app refresh

Credit: brian de los santos/mashable

This is a pretty simple one. Turn off Background App Refresh, or set it to only refresh when connected to Wi-Fi. To do so, go to Settings, tap General, and click on Background App Refresh. There, you'll have the option to shut it off entirely, have it use data, or have it use only Wi-Fi.

Use apps like Pocket or Instapaper

For news or reading junkies who are constantly on the go, apps like Pocket or Instapaper are a huge data help. They allow you to save articles or long features onto your phone so you can read them offline. Pocket even integrates into Safari and Chrome and allows you to save articles from your browser. Just tap the Share icon and scroll over to the top row to the Pocket icon. Connect to Wi-Fi, and open your Pocket app to download the article. You're free to read whenever you please, data free.

Download Google Maps

If you frequently get lost but don't always want to use data when you're in need of directions, download your local area on Google Maps. Open Google Maps, tap the menu icon on the left of the search bar, and hit Offline Maps.

Credit: brian de los santos/mashable

Then hit Custom Map and drag the area you'd like to save. Now you can access it whenever you want, without using data. It'll even still let you search for directions. Just be careful: While you won't be using a lot of data, this can take up a lot of your phone's internal storage.

Save those Netflix shows

Credit: brian de los santos/mashable

If you love to stream Netflix on the go, make sure you're using the app's offline feature. When you're searching for a show you like, go to its main page and hit the download button on the far left. Search "Available for Download" in the menu to find out what you can actually download. Then, to find everything you've saved on your device, hit the downloads tab at the bottom.

If all else fails, use the ultimate kill-switch: Airplane Mode

This will ensure that you use no data whatsoever until you connect to Wi-Fi. Sometimes dire circumstances call for dire measures.

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